In an interaction with students of the prestigious Mount Carmel College for girls in Bengaluru today, Congress VP Rahul Gandhi, in his speech, was going hammer and tongs at the PM Narendra Modi’s NDA government but was clearly taken by susrpsise by the strong reaction against his statement by the gathered girls – Rahul Gandhi was fielding questions on a wide range of issues during an interaction with students of a women’s college.
In his opening remarks, Gandhi said the central difference between the BJP and RSS and Congress was that his party wanted to speak to every single person even with whom it does not agree. But they did not believe in conversation.
With his speech over, student asked Rahul Gandhi about his frequent ‘suit-boot-ki-sarkar’ jibes at Narendra Modi, questioning what was wrong with ‘suit and boot ki sarkar’ as long as it took steps to improve the economy.
Faulting the government for the “way it was operating”, Rahul Gandhi said Modi had promised creation of two crore jobs a year. “It is perfectly okay” if the government focussed on large businesses and produced jobs but the benefits should reach the poor.
But the government had slashed expenditure on welfare schemes, including on education and health care, he said.
All that the government was doing was giving contracts to large business people, that too five or six corporates close to the dispensation, which was “much worse than a suit-boot-ki-sarkar. It is 5 or 6 suit boots ki sarkar”.
He said the economy was in the doldrums and the country was not moving. “Suit-boot-ki-sarkar is failing.. it has completely failed…”
Gandhi said a group of foreign investors had met him recently and he asked them if they were happy with the Modi government. They had told him that “nothing has happened” and “it is not working.”
Gandhi raked up the prolonged strike by Film and Television Institute of India(FTII) students over the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as its Chairman, saying they were told to “shut up”, Dalit children “being called dogs” by a Union Minister (V K Singh) over the Haryana incident and the Dadri killing over beef eating rumours.
However, when Rahul Gandhi broached the subject of Swachh Bharat and said that the scheme was not working at all, the gathered audience shouted him down and said that it was working very well and that there was nothing wrong with the scheme per se.
Rahul Gandhi said that he ‘did not see any clear strategy or direction in the policies of the Narendra Modi government. He added, “I hear a lot of talk about cleaning the country. Are we serious? Clean your country is a strategic policy? Well, it is not working, is it?” The girls reacted against his statement in unison by shouting ‘Yes’. Visibly taken aback, he asked, “You see it working? But I don’t see it working.”
Rahul Gandhi then shifted the conversation to Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme and asked the audience, Do you see Make in India working.” The crowd again shouted ‘Yes’.